Point-of-care ultrasound always to hand for veterinary radiologists

October 30, 2018

FUJIFILM Sonosite’s robust, easy-to-use point-of-care ultrasound instruments fit perfectly into radiologists’ imaging toolkits for veterinary medicine, allowing straightforward scanning of pets and large animals alike. Drs Emilie Segard and Juliette Sonet, assistant professors in radiology at VetAgro Sup in Lyon, discuss the benefits of point-of-care ultrasound for veterinary diagnostics and education.


VetAgro Sup, part of the University of Lyon, is a veterinary teaching hospital offering a broad range of diagnostic, surgical and emergency services for small animals and horses, as well as some livestock. Alongside these services, VetAgro Sup is also a busy teaching centre, with a full undergraduate programme and a number of postgraduate and postdoctoral training posts, from interns to resident surgeons. Organised much like a human hospital, it is divided into surgical, internal medicine, oncology and radiology departments, with undergraduates undertaking rotations in each department alongside their academic studies. 


Point-of-care ultrasound imaging has become a valuable tool in the radiology department at VetAgro Sup – complementing other imaging techniques such as X-ray and upright MRI – as well as being an important skill for students to learn. The robustness and ease of use ofSonosite’s X­Porte®and Edge®systems make them ideally suited to a busy veterinary teaching environment, as Dr Segard explained: “The X-Porte and Edge systems are perfect for ourmulti-disciplinary approach, combining enhanced clinical imaging with student training. Although we have top-of-the-range, cart-based instruments which are excellent enhanced imaging devices, they are fragile, complicated and not easy to move around.”


Dr Sonet has worked extensively with Sonosite instruments in recent years and added: “We use our Edge system for cat and dog emergencies, performing FAST (Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma) scanning techniques drawn from those used extensively in human emergency medicine. Its small size and portability makes it ideal for use in an emergency setting, allowing us to move the system to the animal, which is particularly important if they are in a critical condition and cannot be moved to the scanning room. In contrast, the X-Porte is used more with horses, including for equine cardiology. That said, the X-Porte’s excellent linear probes are very good for conducting tendon, ligament and joint scans – any musculoskeletal imaging – in dogs and other smaller animals.”


Dr Segard continued: “It is important to have suitable instruments for our education programme, which covers undergraduates to enseignement postuniversitaire (EPU), and it made sense for us to develop a partnership with Sonosite based on its easy-to-use and intuitive instruments. The students particularly appreciate the modern touchscreen design of the X-Porte, which they find very familiar, and the system’s ergonomics and software make image acquisition fast and easy.”


 “We are very happy with our mix of high-end, cart-based instruments and portable, easy-to-use point-of-care systems. They give us great image quality and it is an excellent compromise,” Dr Segard concluded.